Thursday, September 02, 2010
The disembodiment of memories
My dad and I were talking for awhile today. He said felt old knowing that in 25 years, he'd be his parents' age (my grandmother is not doing well and I just had a birthday, so this inspired the age discussion.) I said I felt old when places I loved closed down.
A Greek restaurant near where I live just up and closed last week. The Barnes & Noble near Rockefeller Center in New York is closing.
Is there anything spectacular about these two places? No - just nostalgia.
The Greek restaurant we found by accident when my parents lived in Portland. We were super hungry - my dad, me, and my little brother, who was 4 or 5. Santorini served some of the best Greek and Italian food I've ever had...and the first time we went just happened to be a weekend where they had belly dancing. I've never seen my dad so embarrassed. My brother, on the other hand, couldn't take his eyes off the dancer!
I've had many meals there since then. Notably, Mr. RK very nearly proposed to me there - he had his hand in his jacket pocket, on the ring box - but a waiter appeared at exactly that instant to take our order.
The Barnes & Noble closing makes me just as sad. A story I read said it had been there for 15 years, so I must have started going there in college right when it opened. I liked their iced mochas, and it was a good meeting point on the Upper West Side. Since college, I've been back there on return trips for the same reason, having cheesecake with Mike D, getting books and cards with my dad and my brothers.
And I kissed my friend, happy, on escalator on the way up to the second floor of that bookstore - college, a lunch with a couple of margaritas. I had a huge crush on him and nothing ever happened with us romantically after that, but it stands out as a memory.
When places where we have made happy memories no longer exist, it's unnerving, my dad suggests, because the memories are then disembodied.
But as he put it, time for new memories somewhere else, even while we treasure the old ones.
So here is a picture from something I won't ever forget. One of my friends who has been seriously broke for awhile came over and brought me a box of gourmet cupcakes for my birthday. The cupcakes are long gone, but the thoughtfulness will linger, and there's no place attached to it that can be closed, demolished, or left behind.